Diverse Opinions in Higher Ed

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

Those commenters on this blog who are always decrying the dominance of liberal ideas and the quashing of conservative viewpoints in Virginia’s higher ed institutions need to broaden their horizon beyond the University of Virginia.  As reported by The Washington Post,  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito spoke yesterday to a crowd of law students and faculty at the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University.  In reaction to a recently-leaked draft of his opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, there were, as would be expected, demonstrations from both sides of the abortion question outside the building in which the lecture was given.

Alito’s topic was not abortion, and he dodged questions on the subject following the lecture.  Rather, he talked about textualism, a method he favors, and how the late Justice Scalia’s advocacy of this approach had transformed the court’s methods of reviewing federal laws.  This is an important subject and one over which there is considerable debate.  The point here is that Virginia law students were being exposed to the conservative perspective.

These sorts of lectures are scheduled well in advance.  Had it not been for the leaked draft opinion, I suspect that this event would have taken place with little public notice.  Such is the diversity in Virginia higher education circles.